First Rivals draft and WTF was this Houston DQ?

First pass at Rivals of Ixalan draft in paper down at the LGS. I P1P1’d a gold card, Dire Fleet Neckbreaker, and then tried to force BR pirates. I ended up with a few good blue pirates in my pool (e.g. Deadeye Rig-Hauler & Dreamcaller Siren) but not enough to try going 3-color. I think I maybe should have moved into green dinosaurs (I saw multiple Hunt the Weaks go by) but I just put the blinders on. I even passed a foil Colossal Dreadmaw and the generic 6/6 for 6 is always one of my favorite cards in any set! I couldn’t resist raredrafting a Ghalta, Primal Hunger, for what it’s worth.

I did get triple Bombard, which made me feel moderately smart for sticking to red.

As it turned out, my first two opponents had completely non-functional draws, mulliganning, missing land drops and just crapping out. I don’t know if my deck was any good or not because I basically just ranched a couple of goldfish. *shrug* We split the finals, as is traditon.

I’ve been playing a few sealed leagues online and the format does seem at least a little slower than all-Ixalan, which is good and also kind of mirrors the transition from all-Amonkhet to Amonket + Hour of Devastation. I’ve heard multiple people comparing the stupidity of the Rivals rares to those in Fate Reforged, and I have to concur. I’ve already seen enough Tetzimoc, Primal Deaths to last me a lifetime. I’ve even had my own Tetzimoc deck and then been butthurt when my opponent leveraged theirs first, lol.

But let me pontificate!

While I of course remain ultra-perma-banned from Magic reddit for life, I can still read it – I just can’t offer my piercing insights to that rudderless cesspool of donks. Alas, as Randy Moss said: The realness hurts. Anyway, I read about this disqualification at Grand Prix Houston and felt righteously indignant for the fellow.

Granted, I am choosing to accept OP’s general description of events – the eyewitnesses seem to bear him out – and this commentary is in that context. I also understand the letter of the law in this situation and I accept that a judge going through the motions and following the script would arrive at this conclusion. Fair enough. That said, I think whoever the judge in question here was… that person really made a messed up moral choice. I mean, holy cow. We are humans, we have brains and an ability to reason. As described (again, I’m accepting this as described), deep into the GP and with significant prizes on the line some goofball shitty idiot made overtures about bribing OP for a concession in a way that OP interpreted as unserious. OP proceeded to play out and legitimately win his match and move on with his life.

Later on, in a separate side event, some judge working the Grand Prix heard the OP’s loser opponent talking about how he tried and failed to bribe OP and then this judge, this hero, goes and hunts down OP and sets whatever Rube Goldberg sequence in motion to ultimately DQ the OP out of his hard-fought GP winnings.

I am befuddled. This seems beyond unfair to me. I know that judging is something of a thankless job and I appreciate those who step up and do it so that the rest of us can enjoy the competitive tournaments that we love so much but, come on, this is insane. Apply a little finesse where appropriate.

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